The seed meter is the heart of the planter. It’s responsible for getting the seeds into the soil at the rate prescribed for optimum yield. In order for the meter to be able to do this properly, it should be regularly serviced and calibrated. Improperly calibrated meters, as well as worn parts, greatly increase the risk of singulation and spacing errors.
Being proactive about meter calibration and service can prevent the need for mid-season maintenance and potentially save you a substantial amount of time and money. Errors discovered during service and calibration allow for issues to be identified and addressed before you even begin planting. Depending on the size of your planter and the acreage you’re planting, the cost of calibration can be made back within the first few days of planting.
In addition to inspecting meters for noticeable wear, calibration also includes having meters mounted on a test stand. This allows us to see how each individual meter is operating. A properly calibrated meter should be operating at 99-100% singulation. For example, if you’re planting 32,000 seeds at a prescribed rate and your singulation is at 96%, approximately 1,300 of those seeds were skipped or planted as multiples. This could result in the loss of several bushels, or tons of silage.
Many farms wait until just before spring when they dig their planters out to have their meters calibrated. To beat the rush and get ahead on your spring to-do list, get your seed meters calibrated this fall before your planter gets tucked away (if it isn’t already). Many industries are already facing supply chain challenges. It’s even more important to identify any parts or equipment that must be ordered well before they are needed.
To help avoid the supply chain delays, Dairy One and Precision Planting have begun working with other vendors to ensure access to critical planter parts. We are excited to continue offering high-quality, high wear, American-made parts from vendors we trust.
With our mobile seed meter calibration trailer, we are able to offer calibration services on the road. Let us know you’d like your meters calibrated before we head out for a service visit, or call to schedule a calibration visit. For farms outside our service radius, we are happy to calibrate meters that are mailed in.
To learn more about mobile seed calibration service, or to set up an assessment of your agronomy equipment and technology, contact Dairy One Integrated Farming Solutions at [email protected] or 607-252-7550.